The Council of Europe launched in 2017 the EQPR - European Qualifications Passport for Refugees project, aiming to verify and to certify qualifications, knowledges, skills, and expertises of international protection status holders who have no full documentation at hand to prove their educational and professional pathway. In this way, the EQPR supports the implementation of Article VII of the Lisbon Convention. EQPR is also part of the Council of Europe's Action plan on protecting refugee and migrant children in Europe.
During 2018-2020 the project has been extended to Italy and supported by Ministry of University and Research together with CRUI (The Conference of Italian University Rectors), and CIMEA (Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence), the official italian member of ENIC-NARIC network.
There are now 10 countries collaborating on the implementation of this practical tool for better and faster integration of refugees in their host societies. At the end of 2019, 543 candidates had been interviewed, and 454 EQPRs had been issued in Armenia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.
How it works
Only holders of international protection and asylum seekers who achieved an upper secondary school diploma or an academic degree and have no full documentation at hand to prove their educational and professional pathway are allowed to apply for the assessment offered by the project.
The Passport for Refugees is a document issued by international credential evaluators after a detailed questionnaire and a structured interview, both held in the applicant's native language.
The document provides reliable information about candidate's educational qualifications, work experiences and language proficiency and turns out to be an innovative and valuable instrument for Universities in order to approve refugees’ and asylum seekers admission to Higher education study programmes.
Since 2020 EQPR evaluation sessions are regularly held online by the Council of Europe. Those interested in applying can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Italian EQPR sessions
During the four Italian EQPR sessions organized in the years 2018 and 2019 at Sassari, Cagliari, Milan, Turin, Palermo, Catania and Bari universities, 173 interviews had been collected, 142 passports had been issued and 49 successfully evaluated candidates had enrolled in academic study programmes.
In 2019/2020 a.y. two holders of international protections status who obtained their Passport for refugees during the EQPR session at Bari university decided to enroll in academic study programmes in Engineering and Economics taught at University of Brescia.
The V EQPR evaluation session was held online in July 2020 at University of Brescia: the initiative named “UNIBS welcomes” has been promoted by the research center University for Peace (U4P) with reference to University Strategic plan 2020/2022. 15 candidates took part between the ages of 19 and 61, and coming from Guinea republic, Iraq, Eritrea, Camerun, Congo democratic republic, Sudan and Ivory coast. International evaluators issued 13 EQPR, one for the winner of STAR scholarship funded by our university.